tv Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer Current June 6, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
is next. >> eliot: good evening, i'm he will he will and this is "viewpoint." with a bitter divisive recall election behind him scott walker wisconsin republican governor could afford to be magnanimous today. >> we wake up today not as opponents but people who care about the state of wisconsin. >> eliot: walker beat his opponent tom barrett 53% to 46%. and the governor reveled last night in a victory that certified public approval for his drive to eliminate public
service unions collective bargaining rights. >> voters want leaders who will stand up and make the tough decisions. [cheering] >> eliot: decisions that still sparked protests protests that brought praise from milwaukee mayor barrett. >> the knowledge that i have received the last two and a half months have come from you. >> eliot: as did this slap from a barrett supporter who said she was angry that he conceded while the voting was still under way. willas to whether the recall defeat will resonate in november's election? white house press secretary jay carney said no. >> it's been a race where it's 8 to 1 probably won't tell us much about a future race. >> eliot: but g.o.p. candidate mitt romney disagreed telling a conference call walker's victory would, quote echo throughout the country and the walkers winning close to a third of the
union vote showed the union members support us. but not if you ask afl/cio chairman richard trumka. he told reporters, this is not a crystal ball that predicts the future, it's a unique circumstance. let's figure out just what happened last night. let's go to ruth coniff. this was not the news anybody wanted. it's the day after. make sense of it for us. what do you think really happened here? >> well, our side lost clearly progressives teachers the whole democracy of wisconsin lost to this tidal wave of corporate money and right wing propaganda. >> eliot: i want to agree with
you and hide behind the fact that we were outspent 8-to-1. >> i don't think it's hiding. >> eliot: well give me 30 seconds here. i'm with you emotionally. i want to believe it. but the reality is with all the money that was spent, our side had a chance to make the argument. nobody, i don't think went to the voting booth without hearing the argument that was made in favor of collective bargaining rights for civil service workers, and they seem to have rejected it. the exit polls and a lot numbers, 30-plus percent of union members themselves voted for walker. what is happening with the core support for the right to bargaining. >> that is the heart of the issue. there is something seriously wrong that labor can't make the kiss that 30% of its own membership to vote against the guy who has his boot on their necks, there is something wrong, and there is a lot of blame to go around. what happened overwhelmingly is
that this message this divide and confer message that walker is selling and promoting to mitt romney as a winning message to republicans is powerful, and it has rifted state. don't look at the declining levels of union membership in our country. look at your neighbor, the public schoolteacher snow snowplow driver, and they have good benefits and resent that and go on this program that will cut corporate taxes and then some how things will be better. it's such a losing message for the middle class in this country, but labor unions for a very long time have not been doing a good enough job of getting that message out to people, that we need to be in this together, and we need to fight to retain what the labor movement has gained for people in this country, and in wisconsin i totally disagree with richard trumka this is a crucial fight right here and one
nationally the democratic party chose not to take in the way that the right did. >> eliot: ruth, you made a more persuasive argument than i heard, quite frankly during the conversation of wisconsin. you grew up there, i view wisconsin with its rich progressive history being a bastion of human rights. you just articulated why the right of collective bargaining and the necessity of protecting those middle class jobs is important, but you used an important word resentment. they created a politics of resentment against civil service workers, government workers who were doing critical things, cops teachers, snowplow drivers. what should we have said that we
didn't say to have turned the tide. >> what happened here, it was interesting being here. the historic protests in wisconsin that were so inspiring were really not an organized action by either labor or the democratic party. it was people pouring out to the capitol 100,000 strong to object to walker's attack on collective bargaining rights for public employees, and the program of austerity that is making the biggest cuts to our public school systems that the state has ever seen, and deregulation that is coming out historically in wisconsin. snowplow drivers were there, firefighters playing their bagpipes everybody. then we took that incredible energy and nobody knew what to do with it, and we went into this horse race political campaign. i would argue that the energy began to be lost at that stage. there was a round of recalls in the summer.
people went home from those big protests. they stopped talking about having a general strike having blue flu and rolling strikes throughout the state and other actions, and instead they focused on the senate recall. that made a difference. it stopped some of the most extreme items on walker's agenda. we had a very short time span with tom barrett as a candidate. he was badly outspent. the walker ad dominated the airwaves here, and in the end between americans for prosperity coming from outside all this corporate money coming in from outside, we were overwhelmed. that energy of the initial protests did not translate to the electoral. >> eliot: i want to pick up on one strand. the money we know about. the fact of outside resources we know about it. i don't mean to diminish but i
want to talk about something that is different. it began with the right to collective bargaining. it ended up with a harsh attack on scott walker, but what was lost in the middle was the austerity budget and the lack of investment in education the future infrastructure. that was the affirmative argument that radiated out to everybody that everybody benefits by the type of government in progressive politics we're talking about, did that get lost in the mix of what you call the horse race politics between the venom against walker or the organizing rights for a few people? >> well, i mean that the waters were muddied a lot in the debate and the ad war. it turned into this ad war on the air. but you know right after those historic protests and the collective bargaining issue the big dramatic thing that happened we're hearing from so many people around the state coming out to testify against
budget cuts and plans to privatize our public schools. that issue resonated for people. and people knew about it, where their teachers were threatened. it was the teachers who led this stuff. how that translated to the electoral campaigns is a little--you know, it's a little vague and in some ways it was more that the people stepped back and the professional took over and we had a television ad war more than we had that on the ground incredible momentum. i think that was more powerful. i think that energy should have prevailed. there should have been more of a connection. >> eliot: ruth, it should have but didn't. ruth, we'll come back to you to figure out what we should have done differently. ruth, thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> eliot: joining us on the presidential election zach carter, with the "huffington post"." zach, obviously now that we're moving our focus away from wisconsin exclusively to all 50
states, the question is does this resonate? does this seventh a message? a, is wisconsin in play and are the civil service unions targeted by the republican party that will resonate with the entire public? >> i think your question is no. take a look at the exit polling data president obama is still quite a bit in wisconsin. 17% of obama supporters ended up voting for walker last night. i don't think it's really in play. whether or not unions will be targeted by right wing attack groups they already are. unions have been targeted for several years in american politics. that's nothing new. once walker became a folk hero among the american right to curb collective bargaining, that was going to be an issue no matter what happened. >> eliot: let me come back to the issue of whether wisconsin is in play, and i would like to agree with you that it's not.
the only thing that gives me hesitancy are the exit polls, i believe they're the same exit polls that last night's election at 50/50. when the comes came in, it numbers came in, they were not off reminiscent of john kerry in 2004 we thought through the afternoon of that presidential election john kerry was elected president but then there was an oops moment later on that night. can you give us a true read where wisconsin voters are. >> that's always the question, whether the data is any good. this is important to remember that this is a recall election. a lot of vote particularly reflected in that 36% of union household voters voting for walker in the collection was very clearly cast as union voters against scott walker. the choice couldn't have been starker. for more than a third of them
voting for walker suggests there is a bit of a protest vote against the process. that people who may not particularly have any fondness for scott walker are going out and casting their votes because they don't like the recall process. i don't think it's easy to take those results, and then project onto the national stage at the presidential level. >> eliot: i think that's exactly right. we won't know for sure until this november. you said a moment or so ago, you're right the republican party has been targeting unions for a period of time. the question becomes is it becoming more effective. where government budgets are more constrained and voters are sensitive to tax increases and there is a sense of resentment when someone appears to be getting the benefit that i am not getting. so there is an anger in the electorate. is that an attack on the civil service workers and pensions and is this something that mitt romney now picks up with increasingly aggressiveness over the weeks, months ahead.
>> i think there is a real danger. you don't see it just in republican attack ads but the pseudointelligence space where is they talk about the lucky duckies, these poor people who are living on food stamps and have a great free ride on the federal government's dime. i think it's he said when times are tough for elites, whether they're democrats or republicans, to target non-elites and say, look, you don't have anything, it's because these other guys are taking your tax dollars and wasting them and squandering them on a lazy lifestyle. i think it resonates on voters when times are tough. it's unfortunate but that is the case. >> eliot: the wall street journal editor really page should not be used as a reflection of reality. one last question, that's all the time we have, unfortunately. do you think one of the things
we have to think about from the wisconsin is maybe the argument for fairness simply isn't resonating quite as deeply. the attack on bain is on an elite group of people and it's not radiating out to the general public right now? >> i think you have a general public who are angry. the economy has been very bad for a very long time. if you want to scapegoat one group and say this is the attack or not, but you have to make the case whether it's for president or governor or local state into, you are fighting for the people you want to represent. you are on their side. you know it's bad for them. it's not your fault and you'll fix it for them. both at the local level, it's not clear to me that the democrats are willing to do that. it's not just tempting i think it's reasonable to point the finger at wall street the recession the financial crisis
it's totally reasonable to bring up wall street and the malfeasance that occurred there ahead of the crash. but the main thing is just to communicate to voters that you are fighting for them if you run for office. it seems to me that democrats have been reluctant to do that over the past few years. >> eliot: it sounds like you're saying get some backbone, don't be an an amoeba. thank you for your time tonight. >> thanks, eliot. >> eliot: bill clinton speaks you're about to watch an ad message created by a current tv viewer for allstate save 11 campaign. at 14 my life changed forever. i was in a horrific automobile crash with other teenagers. the driver was 16, he had lost control. when we hit the telephone pole the metal bent, the glass shattered, people were screaming and my body was just destroyed on impact. when i woke up, i didn't know who i was. i had to relearn who my family was, who my friends were, how to
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[ female announcer ] with the all-new e-trade 360 investing dashboard free streaming quotes, all your investments positions, and even your trade ticket are all on one customizable page. see the all-new 360 investing dashboard at e-trade. >> eliot: america lost an institution this week, and we remember him in the number of the day. 451, as in "fahrenheit 451" the legendary science fiction writer
died at the age of 91. after an astounding 74-year career publishing 600 short stories and nearly 50 books. he wrote every day for seven decades. and predicting atms and live broadcasts of fugitive car chases. he warned that some people would try to destroy dissenting ideas while others would stop caring about war, corruption and other issues of that matter. bradbury got it right. i doubt i would have grayed with many of bradbury's other opinions. he became very conservative later in life and sounded a great deal like a tea party member. but he told the world to keep thinking dreaming and if you have an opinion, you better back it up.
>>eliot spitzer takes on politics. >>science and republicans do not mix. >>now it's your turn at the only online forum with a direct line to eliot spitzer. >>join the debate now. >> eliot: with friends like these, as they say, less than a week after president obama's most high-profile surrogate former president clinton called romney's record at bain capital "sterling," clinton has veered off message again--or did he. under cutting a core part of president obama's re-election pitch, ending tax cuts for the wealthy. >> the republicans don't want to do that unless they agree to extended packets that is permanently for upper income people. i don't have any problem extending all of it now, including the current spending levels which are still pretty
low, the government spending levels, but i think they look high because there is a recession, so the taxes look lower than they really would be if we had 2.5% or 3% growth. and spending looks higher than it would be if we had 2.5% to 3% growth because we have so many people on food stamps unemployment medicaid. the real issue is whether or not it should be extended for another few months the real issue is the price the republican house will put on that extension as the permanent extension of the tax cuts. which i think is an error. >> though to be clear clinton was not endorsing the republicans' efforts to make perpetrator tax cuts for the wealthy. nevertheless, a spokesperson for the former president was forced to issue an statement clarifying clinton's comments but it was already too late to stop republicans from pouncing. >> even bill clinton came out
for it before he was against it. >> even folks on the other side of the aisle and part of the president's team, if you will are now actually comeing to the realization we got to do everything we can to start growing this economy. >> obviously president bill clinton gets it. you should not be raising taxes on anybody. >> i would make the same argument. the same argument that former president bill clinton made. >> his view that we should do a complete 180 and race away this clip and the tax relief extended by president bush. >> thanks for your time you're an expert for on this. make sense out of this mayhem. i don't know who is saying what. did bill clinton disagree with the white house or not?
>> bill clinton took a long time to say what a lot of people on capitol hill including republicans and democrats, have been saying for some of time. it might--there is a deadline coming up january 1st. that's when the taxes go up. that's when the spending cuts kick in. there is a fairly widely sense that the smart thing to do would be to extend that deadline so congress does not have to use the six weeks between election and the end of the year to make dozens of very difficult decision abouts fiscal policy choices. so what clinton was saying is that that is a good idea. extend to march or april and buy some time but not permanently oregon a very long time extend the bush tax cuts. he was not talking about permanent policy changes on which he agrees with the republicans. he was buying into the consensus consensus. >> eliot: on one level he was not saying let's extend these--
these--god for bid we ask congress to make a few decisions in the course of a six weeks on issues that have been discussed parsed and analyzed, but congress can't do something between november and january 1st so kick the can further down the road is the notion. >> that's correct. >> eliot: having said that the white house does not yet buy in that. the extent that bill clinton was speaking to an emerging consensus on capitol hill the white house has not conceded to this. he was a little bit under cutting the negotiating posture by saying we can buy this intermediate position. >> there may have a been a strategic difference between what clinton was saying to what obama was saying. it's not a white house policy. if you have a real negotiating partner in republicans and you thought you could achieve a
consensus deficit package with them over the course of four or five months would you be willing to extend the deadline into march or april, they would probably say yes under those circumstances we would. but they know as bill clinton said the price that republicans are going to pay for that--or after that extension is a permanent extension of the bush tax cuts or two two-, three- five-year extension of the tax cuts and clinton said that's correct. obama should do that. >> eliot: he did take ma statement, but he is known as someone who goes off script off cue, they should view him as a wedge and say even clinton disagrees, and there was a cartoon who is displayed as a drone chasing down barack obama and someone saying please help
us control this guy, what do we do. does the desirability and wisdom of cutting a deal and pushing it off in january depend to a certain extent who wins in november? somebody's negotiating position will be better after november and later. >> the parties are trying their best to position themselves to have as much leverage as they can no matter what the election outcome is. i think you're going to hear an entirely different tune from republicans if they sweep in november, as you're hearing now. the same for the democrats. the obama campaign is right to expect a lot from their high-level surrogates as clinton. he should know. he should be careful when he talks just like any surrogate should be careful when speaking for their party. but what happened with clinton he said something that political reporters doing their jobs right should have realized was not controversial or out of step or
majorly out of step with the white house or the obama campaign at all. and they sort of allowed it to get turned into this fake outrage story of the day. it never really should have turned into that. and the republicans were only able to successfully glom on to it because the media bought into it on their own. >> eliot: you understood it for what it was. you have a degree of sophistication in the way you have pars the words but on a superficial level you could create the divide between former president clinton and president obama, and that's what they took advantage of. most folks look at the white house and get frustrated with their ability to lose every negotiation they go into including congress, they have a sense once again there are fissures breaks lack of latitude and there they go. brian beutler, thank you for
>> eliot: still to come, america is the land of opportunity for fewer and fewer. nobel prize winning economist joseph stiglitz with his take on the vanishing american dream. but first a conspiracy theory, a psa and a presidential mash up up when it doesn't fit anywhere else, we put it in the viewfinder. >> with enough care and effort you can grow your own barracoli. >> wow, look at this. >> hey. >> this is crazy. to introduce bowling as a great summer support. >> i think a lot of people all
they hear is conservative talk radio and maybe watch fox news they assume all of america is getting what i would call at least a balanced approach to understanding that there are a lot of real problems going on that obama could do better on. >> i think people are more informed from rash other talk radio, fox news the internet blog, i think we're more informed than we've ever been. >> there are no such thing as zombies. these are sick, gruesome crimes but they did issue a state which makes one wonder. >> people, they come in all shapes and sizes tall short fat, thin, young, and old. but it's important to remember whatever they look like, you shouldn't eat them. [horns] >> i don't know if you can hear me. but there are still a lot of people milling around the capitol. [bullhorns] >> i'm smiling here and i'm not
smiling to make you you uncomfortable, but that is democracy in action. >> i would say he's rhode scholar who knows exactly what he's doing. >> the gay green lanterns dc character. >> we would like to solve the puzzle. superman and spider woman. >> what the-- >> wonder woman, even i could read that one. where is our equal opportunity nobel prize economist joseph stiglitz comes by to say
polar shifts will reverse the earth's gravitational pull and hurtle us all into space. which would render retirement planning unnecessary. but say the sun rises on december 22nd and you still need to retire. td ameritrade's investment consultants can help you build a plan that fits your life. we'll even throw in up to $600 when you open a new account or roll over an old 401(k). so who's in control now, mayans? >> david: the american dreams seems more and more like the american pipe dream. there is less equality of opportunity in the united states than there is in europe or, indeed any advanced industrial country for which there are data.
with political power being derived more than ever by money the cycle doesn't show any sign of stopping. this is stark reality described by now guest nobel prize economist joseph stiglitz. i just like saying that. it is a pleasure to have you hear. you know was it always like this? was there always this stark divide? this gap between those at the top and those at the bottom. >> there have been periods in our history where we've had a lot of inequality the gilded age, right before the great depression. but the years after world war ii our country grew together and interestingly we grew very rapidly. the dividing point is basically 1980. >> eliot: which coincides with the new president? new ideology ronald reagan. >> exactly. since then inequality has been
soaring. just to give you one number the fraction of incomes garnered by the upper 1% has doubled. it's gone from 10% to basically 20%. >> eliot: and am i right i think the data is in your book as well as the articles you've written. in the 2009-2010 recovery period, 93% of the recovery went to the top 1%. >> that's right. that shows the extremes that our economy has been moving. >> eliot: it has not been always this way. it does not have to be this way but it's a matter of choice. the specific policies that we pursue that has taken us to this place. >> market forces are global, yet those market forces have been tamed, shaped by politics by government that's part of the explanation why the u.s. has the most inequality of all the advanced countries and the least
equality of opportunity. >> eliot: you described, and it's fascinating, three specific causal factors that lead to this yawning inequality. one you call the monopoly power. two, the broken system and three, political connections that permit people access to a particular market and control it. we could address each of these three problems. >> very much so. we could have more competition authority. and that would dissipate our monopoly. we could have more efficient corporate governing. one of the deficiencies in counter governing are managers are seizing a larger and larger share. >> eliot: and taking from shareholders who own the company
revenues and profits that should go back to owners but management is holding it themselves. an issue that we talk about on this show and something you've written about yourself. >> precisely. the shareholders own the company. if you have someone working for you, you would think, it's only right and proper that you decide what they got to get paid. but management has been fighting the idea that there ought to be a say of pay. not determining the pay but even having a say in pay. >> eliot: it is crazy. i want to come to one of the defenses that is raised very often, which is that a rising tide lifts all ships. therefore, this book " "unintended consequences," in an effort to justify the skewed income, how do you respond to that? >> i wish it were true but what is happening in the united states is that it's vivid evidence that it is not true. the front of the boat, the upper 1% has been doing very well and
that rising tides lifted all the boats people in the middle and bottom would be doing very well. but if you look at what has been happening, most americans, let me repeat most americans today are worse over than they were a decade and a half ago. >> eliot: which explains the political anger. >> exactly. >> eliot: you play in the world of political economy. one of the reasons for the divisiveness is that those in the middle class and lowers we're actually worse off. >> exactly. i talked about the person in the middle. if you look at more defined groups like working men what is happening to the income of a full-time male worker? the income that he gets today is comparable lower than it was more than 40 years ago.
>> eliot: which is a shock. >> which is shocking. our economy has not been delivering for a very large fraction of our society. >> eliot: if you extend out in 30 years the trend lines of income distribution right now, what does our society begin to look like? >> we begin an increasingly divided society. some societies that you see in developing countries, emerging markets, the middle east, where you have a few people at the top liveing in gated communities, isolated living lives that are totally different from the lives of most of the other citizens. >> eliot: almost a feudal society where you have stratification that just creates totally different civilizations that people are living. >> they don't talk to each other and living lights apart. >> eliot: the politics of the moment are troubling to me in a sense that those who are getting the shortened of the stick to use the street vernacular
they're not to their interest. how do we educate and inform? >> that's one of the things that i try to address in my book. i think one of the things that happens is that the corporate sector has learned how to sell products. they sold cigarettes. they said that there is was no evidence that--no scientific evidence that it was bad for your health. >> eliot: well, there wasn't come on. >> they were holding in their files that evidence. they knew it was gooded a excelling that idea. they knew it wasn't true, but they sold it. if you can sell products like cigarettes then you can sell other ideas. >> eliot: this being idea those are kernels of wisdom. joseph stiglitz thanks so much for your time tonight. mitt romney champion of the individual mandate really?
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[ train whistle blows ] [ ball hitting paddle ] [ orbit girl ] don't let food hang around. yeah! [ orbit trumpet ] clean it up with orbit! [ orbit glint ] fabulous! for a good clean feeling. try new orbit micro packs. >> eliot: let's head out west to jennifer granholm. what have you got for us governor. >> last night's election is a wake-up call to democrats and unions. we'll dive deep into the challenging dynamics of this public sector-private sector union issue. we've got the great larry cohan to pars out the issues and then there is a question about how much difference the money made in the election in wisconsin. and a bunch more. that's at the top of the hour. >> eliot: sound great. that issue of private sector unions versus public sector unions. that's huge.
private sector unionses have been shrinking for years now. and the public sector--people are saying they don't seem to like it. it will be a great show. i'll be don't miss this week's "the gavin newsom show" with special guest: hollywood icon oliver stone. >> i'm not an activist, i'm outspoken. i'm a dramatist. >> eliot: either the individual pays or the taxpayers pays. a free ride on government is not libertarian. and there is more. an uninsured libertarian might counter that he could refuse the free care, but under the law that is impossible and inhumane. thus spoke romney 1.0 pre- pre-etch-a-sketch. pre-desperate to appease the far-right fringe of an already far-right party. and of course romney 1.0 was
correct. for universal coverage to work individual mandate is essential. that's exactly why president obama then senator hillary clinton the congress, newt gringrich, the heritage foundation, all agreed with then governor mitt romney's logic and supported the individual mandate mandate. romney now tries to pretend that this irrefutable logic might apply to a state but not to the federal government. that is pure rubbish. but there is something more fundamental. something that goes beyond mere flip flopping on one issue. there is a central lack of a core integrity to mitt romney. he has flopped on every issue of significance moving at each moment wherever the political wind might take him. this lack of constancy on every social, economic, and foreign policy issue should be an immediate disqualifier for somebody who wants to be president. above all that job requires the fortitude to stand up and make and then explain unpopular decisions.
the willingness to educate the public when tough decision is required. but think about this. mitt was keynsian before he wasn't. he was pro-choice before he was ain't choice. he was pro-same-sex marriage before he was not. he was for the individual mandate before he was against it. when someone uh, i'm in a timeout because apparently riding the dog like it's a small horse is frowned upon in this establishment! luckily though, ya know, i conceal this bad boy underneath
my blanket just so i can get on e-trade. check my investment portfolio, research stocks... wait, why are you taking... oh, i see...solitary. just a man and his thoughts. and a smartphone... with an e-trade app. ♪ nobody knows... ♪ [ male announcer ] e-trade. investing unleashed. >>the dominoes are starting to fall. (vo) former two term governor, jennifer granholm, is politically direct on current tv >> what should women be doing? >> electing women to office.
the chill of peppermint. the rich dark chocolate. york peppermint pattie get the sensation. >> it was four years ago proposition eight was passed in california prohibiting marriage between two people of the same sex. oh, how much can change in four years. we now have a president who publicly supports same-sex marriage and things are are looking up for opponents of prop
eight. a federal appeals court in san francisco yesterday refused to review the ruling it made in february finding prop eight to be unconstitutional on the heels of a ruling in boston refiring that 1996's defense of marriage act is unconstitutional because it discriminates against gay couples. a ruling comes today mirroring the ruling of the boston court. the supreme court might be dealing with the issue of same-sex marriage sooner than most people thought. joining me, richard socaritis and wayne bessan. this is good news, explain to us why. >> both of these rulings the one out of boston and the pop significance eight ruling are very significant federal court
rulings. it's not every day that a federal appellate court very important court, throws out a federal statute as unconstitutional an act declaring that allow unconstitutional, and got of congress thrown out. in the proposition eight case, very significant that the ninth circuit court of appeals a very important court essentially paved the way for reinstating same-sex marriage in california. >> five is the most powerful number in the united states of america, five justices, detypes the constitution, rights, everything else. now these issues are going to be in front of supreme court. how do you now handicap these issues in front of the supreme court, is it a lot of parsing of tea leaves and justice kennedy?
>> we seem to have the defense of marriage strike down of the week and it does come down to kennedy. all eyes are on kennedy. i think the supreme court is going to punt and not go for the wider ruling which would strike down all the anti gay marriage laws across the country. i do think that the defense of marriage act, particularly the part where the if you're married in a state that you won't get federal recognition for that marriage, i think that part will be struck down by the supreme court. there's no rational basis for it. this is about protecting prejudice and defending discrimination. it doesn't defend the family or protect the family. 54% of americans are in support of marriage equality so they don't even have that argument on their side. >> in a way the case that comes out of boston that says on equal protection ground you cannot
look one calm a man and woman, another woman say we recognize this for purposes of tax law but not that one. that is an easy case for the supreme court, saying there's a constitutional right to force states to recognize the right to marry somebody of the same sex, but you candies scrim nail. >> the boston case, it's amazing how quickly things can change. now it looks like the easier case. that case really would only hold for the proposition that the federal government has to recognize valid state license. two people married in new york, they have to royce your marriage. it's pretty remarkable would require overturning a federal statute. the california case also could be decided on very narrow grounds and they could take that case and decide it an narrow grounds. that's what i think they will do. the california case gives them
an opportunity to declare a federal constitutional right to marriage equality. that's what essentially we're hoping. >> that would be the final step everyone wants the supreme court to take. if justice kennedy wants to threat the needle and take a step not quite at a important or dramatic, take the boston case and affirm it. after the outcome of the wisconsin vote yesterday where people are second guessing did we pick the wrong fight were we premature. is there any risk that somehow these cases are getting to the court too soon when you look back at the sort of many decades it took to get to brown versus board of ed, there was careful pacing. >> i don't think it is too soon. if you look at the support with the american people. if you look in red states, their favorite television shows, modern family, most people know someone now who is gay or
lesbian. a quarter of americans will live in states where gay and lesbian couples can get married. we're at a point now, a tipping point, and i think it's come rather quickly as richard pointed out this whole change and attitudes are changing at a rapid pace and i think the american people could accept that ruling right now just as there is a lot of -- just as obama coming out there wasn't the back lash. >> we've almost forgotten about it. >> i know. i just wanted to say how quickly things move in this realm. i mean remember that these cases probably will not get decided for another year, so, you know, a year from now, even the california case, which asks the court to declare a constitutional right to same-sex marriage may not seem so out of the political mainstream. public opinion you see in the polling is changing by the minute. >> explain to me at a procedural
level the white house opted out of defending the defense of marriage act a good decision saying we can't do it, it's unconstitutional. will they have a roll in the boston case if it appears in front of the supreme court? >> they will. the federal statute us called into question. they will have to make their case for or against and will make their case on behalf of gay rights advocates saying that is unconstitutional. do they come in on the prop eight case? i think they will. >> they could use the prop eight case to make the more dramatic case that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. >> i don't think president obama's department will make that case. i think it will be done for them. >> something will happen after the election.